Retroduction 004

Original tracklist:

1. Nautilus
2. Greenland
3. Vertical Horizon
4. Xcelsis95
5. Mindsweeper
6. Messiér 104
7. Improkrator


The first album in a series of live recordings and studio out-takes from the extensive Nemesis archives.

Most of the tracks originate froma gig in Helsinki 1995. It was the first of the more important gigs by the band and shows them in a sort of techno mode. The gig was at a big rave event and therefore the material is rather fast and the rhythms are at the forefront. But you can still hear why many ”techno heads” did think that their music was much too varied! And with hindsight, one must say that the material doesn´t sound at all dated now because of that. There´s also one track from the same venue but two years later. It clearly shows that Nemesis was going already at their own directions. Rigid compositions and pre-programmed elements start to give way to improvisation also at concerts.

Even more evident this is in ”Improkrator” – a track of 30 mins. of duration. It is recorded in 2001 at Tampere and the line up features also Jarkko Lahti of Rihmasto. This track is a good example of the improvisatory style of the nemesis in 2000-2003. The hard-hitting latter half of the track is actually an early version of the track ”Kosmokrator” – the title track for the projected studio album in 2001. Unfortunately the album was never completed and this is the first released version of the track in any form.



Review from SMD mag 123

So this is a live album – but you wouldn’t now it. I would easily have believed that these were all magnificent studio creations. A chugging rhythm really gets the feet moving. A swirling sequence weaves around it and I’m already in Heaven! ’Nautilus’ provides a stonking start. There is so much energy, excitement but also intelligent use of subtle melody here. In the fourth minute things wind down a little but the sequence and rhythm never completely disappear. Little melodic note stabs provide added interest. There was enough going on in this wonderful swirling maelstrom to leave me in an ecstatic daze.

We blend into ’Greenland’. Little note droplets and lovely pads weave round a solid rhythmic backing. A couple of minutes later the rhythm becomes quite forceful and a hundred mile an hour high register sequence and sawing lead join it. This is yet another winner, so full of energy and the feel good factor. ’Vertical Horizon’ initially changes the mood completely as we are now deep out in some malevolent area of the cosmos. Deep drones mix with spooky effects and very faint sampled speech. A loping rhythm gives structure around which rapid percussion bounces like hale smashing down on a tiled roof! What a groove! Ideal for manic air drumming! We transcend to ’Xcelsis’ and ’Mindsweeper’ on a sea of white noise. Angelic choral pads mix with NASA type radio communication. Then we get some Morse code bleeping. But the sounds used for the bleeps are so sharp and staccato, as well as intense that they are like sparks arcing from one surface to another. A rhythm falls into formation. There is a little bit of sonic colouring but for the most part this is wall-to-wall syncopation. Things calm down in the second minute when a single rhythm and melodic loop take over. From these the rest of the track starts to rebuild. Little melodic flourishes mix with the beats. It has to be said that it is all rather intense and in your face. Much more contemporary sounding than Berlin School.

It’s back to dark weirdness for ’Messier 104’. Out of this materialises a splashing rhythm. More rhythms come to join it but they are then drowned out by growling atmospherics leading to peaceful drift. This beatless void is soon filled however as more delicate percussion starts to grow and develop in both complexity and volume. It’s all rather organic sounding like a shoot appearing from the ground and rapidly developing leaves. ’Inprokrator’ at almost half an hour long takes up a large portion of the album. All is rather desolate, like being in the wilderness late at night. Windy effects mix with metallic drones then the sound of water lapping against boats in a harbour. It is incredibly vivid picture music. We then get some narration describing a rocket launch. Things start to become quite manic with massed twitterings and what sounds like clanging chains. A deep throb comes into being and this soon develops into a low bass sequence full of oomph. Another sequence joins it. It is as if we are in that rocket that has blasted off and are now careering into space. A ground shaking throbbing beat joins in. The warp engines have been engaged maybe. Little lead flourishes speed past like asteroids hurtling by our craft’s windows. The intensity of it all is gradually, but with real purpose, increased building an incredible amount of tension. An electric guitar (either virtual or real I’m not sure) adds to the excitement. With a couple of minutes to go all calms down again and we return to atmospherics to finish. (DL)


Review from Electroambient Space

“Nautilus” fades in without fanfare, starting with a good solid blend of retro and modern electronic music. The moderate tempo and bright sequencing reminds me a lot of Waveshape, another favorite of mine. The liner notes point out that the first five tracks were from a rave in 1995, hence a bit of a techno flavor at times. “Greenland,” for example, quickly picks up the pace. However, the music manages to have a lot of energy without the usual techno tendency for the percussion to overpower things. Lush pads and frenetic sequencing round out the sound. The bubbly atmospheric transitions between tracks remind me much of their debut Sky Archeology from the year prior. “Vertical Horizon” mellows things out again, balancing the flow of the album quite nicely. Soft crystalline tones and subtle synth textures are eventually joined by a shuffling moderate beat. Once this finds its groove, and a very cool one it is, it rides it out to the end. “Xcelsis 1995” shows Nemesis in dance-floor-ready mode, moving along quite energetically. Aggressive at first, it turns playful in the middle. The fast pace continues right into “Mindsweeper,” which plays more like a second movement of the same piece. The last two tracks move us forward to 1997 and 2001 respectively, and take up more than half the album. Moody and ethereal, “Messiér 104” takes us into the far reaches of space to start with. A percolating sequence then rises up, along with punchy rhythms. But it abruptly dissolves into a spacey midsection, and then starts building all over again, finding a more relaxed flow. Finally we have “Improkrator,” a nearly half-hour journey into a variety of excellent electronic music. For several minutes it meanders dreamily along, with a bit of space mission voice samples. About 12 minutes on, a great driving chugging set of rhythm and sequencing asserts itself in more typical Nemesis style, and it cooks right to the end. Ami Hassinen promises that this is just the beginning of a series of releases from the Nemesis archives, and if this first volume is typical of what we can expect then that’s very good news indeed.